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Dow Chemical wants to expand fracking in Michigan

September 13, 2012

Yesterday, MLive posted a story about a Press Conference held in Lansing where Michigan chemical companies, such as Dow, were advocating for an increase in exploration of natural gas in this state.

This is not a surprise coming from Dow Chemical, which announced the construction of a new multibillion-dollar natural gas facility in Texas. Dow uses natural gas for production and application of many of the chemical products they manufacture.

What was interesting about the MLive story was that chemical companies were joined by two State Representatives who echoed the desire to increase the amount of natural gas exploration and extraction in Michigan.

The two representatives were State Reps. Charles Brunner, D-Bay City and Aric Nesbitt, R-Lawton. The MLive reporter notes, “Brunner acknowledged environmental concerns about the chemicals injected into the ground during fracking, but said he’s sure it can be done safely in Michigan given the state’s environmental regulations.”

What the MLive article leaves out is that Rep. Aric Nesbitt sits on a House committee that has looked at and made recommendations to increase natural gas exploration in Michigan.

Another issue the MLive story omits is the amount of money spent by corporations and business associations to lobby Michigan legislators and money given to candidates for office in Michigan in order to buy influence on gas exploration and fracking. According to Common Cause nearly $3 million has been spent in Michigan to influence fracking policy over the past decade.

The MLive article does state that there is a mild effort by some state legislators that would require more research on the environmental impact of fracking and that there is a petition campaign to put on the ballot in 2014 a moratorium on natural gas fracking.

What the MLive story does not acknowledge is the growing public resistance to fracking as was demonstrated at the DNR land auction in May or the fact that there are several anti-fracking actions being organized across the state for the international anti-fracking day on Sept. 22.

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